[CROSSFIRE] Exclusive: How Abia Governor was Deceived into Abia SME Microfinance Bank – Obinna Oriaku Reveals

The former Abia State Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Obinna Oriaku has recently alleged that the State Governor, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu was deceived into the N200 million SME Microfinance bank by some men close as he described the Governor as a man of impeccable integrity while describing the allegations as carried by Mr Chinenye Nwaogu as being baseless and clueless.

Recall that on Friday last week, during the first hearing on the alleged N200 million Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) fraud by the House Committee on Public Accounts, Anti-Corruption and Due Process of the Abia State House of Assembly, the SSA to the Governor Mr Chinenye Nwaogu had accused the former Commissioner of Finance, Hon. Obinna Oriaku to have threatened the establishment of the Microfinance Bank as a result of the Chairman of the Committee set-up by the Governor not given to him. An act the SSA described as selfish.

Reacting to these allegations through an exclusive interview granted to AFNEWS, the former Commissioner described the allegations as mere accusations from a drowning man against his person as he has always been known to support good initiatives by the State even now that he is not in Government. He further decried how the Committee on SME Microfinance bank went ahead to deceive the State Governor with their unethical processes in the acquisition of a Micro Finance bank. Hon Oriaku alleged that as at the time the State was looking for such a CBN State-wide Microfinance bank license, the programme had already ended at CBN while noting that as from day one, the normal state-wide microfinance license had always stood at the tone of about N1 billion license like the Nigerian Police Micro Finance bank , This is against the claim by the Committee that upon approaching the CBN, the license for the state-wide microfinance bank had jumped from N100 million to N1 billion….“What happened is the CBN had ended the Statewide Micro Finance programme as these programmes have time frame” .

“When you have gone to purchase something and found an increase in price, should you not have returned to the one who sent you? But because of their personal motives, they went ahead to without the Ministry of Finance in such a technical transaction”.

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The former Commissioner maintained. He further alleged that the question begging for an answer is: “What has happened to the 200m?”

As to whether the former Commissioner stopped the initial loan facility from Zenith bank as alleged by Mr Chinenye Nwaogu by writing to banks and CBN ,the former Commissioner declined and explained that he never wrote to any bank but engaged the manager of Keystone bank who is a former colleague having worked in same bank noting that such loan facility ought not to have come from banks outside UBA and First bank, which are the official banks of the State.

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He further alleged that going to the Board of Internal Revenue to negotiate a loan facility on behalf of the State Government when there is Ministry of Finance, as an aberration , not done anywhere and asked when it has become the statutory functions of the Board of Internal Revenue of any State or any committee to decide and make financial decisions for the State .

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The former Commissioner further alleged the acquisition of a distressed bank by the Hon. Gab Igboko led Committee,ought to be at a Penny price while calling the purported settlement of some directors of the distressed Micro finance bank , as claimed by the committee as being false and fraudulent submission.

The former Commissioner who noted his sadness on how his noble advice was ignored or rejected by the committee which has resulted to this avoidable embarrassment to the State government, called on the general public, Mr Chinenye Nwaogu and other members of the SME Microfinance bank Committee to face the issues before them and leave his name from such huge crime as he has moved on with his private life and no longer in government.

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